Hong Kong-based Galaxy Entertainment is looking into the best possible location for an Integrated Resort (IR) in Japan if the company is lucky enough to obtain a gambling license in that country.
Galaxy Vice Chairman Francis Lui told Inside Asian Gaming that the group has applied for information from seven different possible casino locations in Japan. Among them are five cities: Nagasaki, Osaka, Tomakomai in Hokkaido, Wakayama and Yokohama, as well as Aichi and Hokkaido prefectures.
During a media roundtable held in Tokyo, Mr. Louis said:
At the moment, we are continuing to explore all cities that are interested in integrated resorts in Japan. Different cities have different needs, requirements and preferences. Big cities like Osaka and smaller cities like Wakayama each have their own uniqueness and preferences, so we need to know more before making a decision.
He said that the construction of specific non-play objects should complement the chosen location. Mr Louis added:
In a city like Osaka, we won’t build a theme park like Universal Studios, and we won’t build a baseball park because we don’t want to create properties that compete with existing ones. We need to find out what we can do for each city – this is our approach.
Francis Louis also said that the company has not identified local partners to work with:
We are looking for good, reliable Japanese partners to assist the consortium. But at the shareholder level, this is something that we cannot answer now, because, as in any international practice, we must decide which partner will do what.
Under a new integrated resort law passed last July, the Japanese government will issue no more than three licenses to operators to build large-scale casino resorts. The locations of future gambling establishments have not yet been selected, and public consultations are still ongoing.
Notable is the absence of any future Galaxy Tokyo casinos among the selected locations. In addition to Tokyo, Japanese brokerage Nomura has pointed to Yokohama and Osaka as ideal locations for integrated resorts due to the large local population, high tourist inflow and adequate infrastructure. Residents of Yokohama have already expressed a negative attitude towards the fact that they plan to build a casino in their city.
Galaxy reported net revenue of $ 3.56 billion for the first half, up 25% from a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA, meanwhile, stood at $ 1.09 billion, up 34% year-on-year.
Net income attributable to shareholders increased 56% year on year to $ 917.2 million.